What’s next? Radioactive Door Pulls?

Wow. So those granite countertops that have become so popular and ubiquitous on decorating shows that we now stand on the brink of a massive wave of granite countertop fatigue? According to the New York Times, some of them emit radioactive radon gas.

Yes. You heard me. Radioactive radon gas.

When I read this, I wondered if there could be more random connection between two seemingly unrelated things—after all, who really associates HGTV countertop choices with the process of radioactive decay you learned about in high school chemistry? It’s like finding a link between goat cheese and brain cancer. Water bottles and executive pay. Britney Spears and class.

Granted, for most granite we’re not talking about a lot of radon exposure (I mean, if this is what we get from granite I wonder what kind of random toxins we’re exposed to from substances that, on the surface at least, seem much more toxic. Like asphalt. Or smog). And I always think it’s important to take articles like these with a grain of salt and really evaluate what the health risks are, since the media seems to thrive on freaking people out about the possible hazards of common household substances.

But it’s still interesting to me that such a common item that is so thoroughly lauded in the Television Decorating Universe, may have unexamined health consequences . . .



  1. Trekkie said

    Yikes! I am a little bit happier with my laminate counter tops. Functional and not causing health problems. Two in one what a deal!

  2. moderndomestic said

    Exactly! Just think of laminate as a way that you are avoiding toxin exposure. And in the meantime, you can dream of other non-granite options when you get to replace them. This article totally made me wish I had a kitchen to remodel (and, um, a boatload of money): http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/garden/10counters.html?scp=1&sq=glass%20countertops&st=cse

  3. Trekkie said

    oh and by the way. I love your blog! i can’t wait to take in all your domestic advice.

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